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Race and Racism in America

Special Programming

Race Matters: America in Crisis

RACE MATTERS – AMERICA IN CRISIS focuses on the frustration pouring out onto American streets, outrage about police brutality, and America’s deep systemic racial disparities in the economy, education, criminal justice system, housing, and health care, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The program also includes grassroots voices from around the country and a roundtable conversations with thought leaders and other newsmakers.

FRONTLINE: Policing the Police

How do you change a troubled police department? FRONTLINE goes inside the Newark Police Department — one of many forces in America ordered to reform. As the country’s debate over race, policing and civil rights continues to unfold, the New Yorker's Jelani Cobb examines allegations of police abuses in Newark, N.J. and the challenge of fixing a broken relationship with the community.

THE TALK: Race in America

This two-hour documentary is about the increasingly common conversation taking place in homes and communities across the country between parents of color and their children, especially sons, about how to behave if they are ever stopped by the police. This program originally aired in 2017.

America in Black and Blue

On this special edition of PBS NewsHour Weekend, in one week two black men killed by police and five Dallas officers were gunned down. Mourning the losses and demanding justice -- voices are raised across the country. How can we find common ground? Alison Stewart anchors this one-hour special “America in Black and Blue” from New York.

Reconstruction: America After the Civil War

Reconstruction will explore the transformative years following the American Civil War, when the nation struggled to rebuild itself in the face of profound loss, massive destruction, and revolutionary social change.

Black America Since MLK: And I Still Rise

In his new four-hour series, BLACK AMERICA SINCE MLK: AND STILL I RISE, Henry Louis Gates, Jr. embarks on a deeply personal journey through the last fifty years of African American history. Joined by leading scholars, celebrities, and a dynamic cast of people who shaped these years, Gates travels from the victories of the civil rights movement up to today, asking profound questions about the state

Independent Lens: Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution

The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution sheds light on the Black Panther Party — and all its reviled, adored, misunderstood, and mythologized history.

Maya Angelou: And Still I Rise - American Masters

Distinctly referred to as “a redwood tree, with deep roots in American culture,” Dr. Maya Angelou led a prolific life. She inspired generations with lyrical modern African-American thought that pushed boundaries. Best known for her autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, she gave people the freedom to think about their history in a way they never had before.

Independent Lens: Tell Them We Are Rising

Though much of its history was eclipsed by the explosiveness of the 1960s, the essential role the nation’s historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) played in shaping black life, creating a black middle class and dismantling segregation cannot be overstated.

Independent Lens: Rat Film

Across walls, fences, and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. Rat Film is a feature-length documentary that uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them-to explore the history of Baltimore. "There's never been a rat problem in Baltimore, it's always been a people problem.”

John Lewis: Get In The Way

Follow the journey of civil rights hero, congressman and human rights champion John Lewis. At the Selma March, Lewis came face-to-face with club-wielding troopers and exemplified non-violence. Now 76, he is considered the conscience of Congress.

The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross

This series chronicles the full sweep of African American history, from the origins of slavery on the African continent right up to today when America remains a nation deeply divided by race.

Great Performances: Twilight: Los Angeles

In response to the national crisis in the aftermath of the murders of Ahmaud Arbery (Brunswick, GA), Breonna Taylor (Louisville, KY), and most recently George Floyd (Minneapolis, MN) THIRTEEN’s Great Performances resumes free streaming of Marc Levin’s film adaptation of Anna Deavere Smith's play "Twilight: Los Angeles." It originally aired on PBS in 2001.

Independent Lens: True Conviction

True Conviction follows exonerated ex-prisoners who started a detective agency to help free other wrongly incarcerated people, as they rebuild their lives, investigate cases, support each other, and campaign to fix the criminal justice system.